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The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has always supported the wisdom and experience of wildlife agencies when it comes to managing wildlife. After all, the wildlife professionals are “on the ground” and responsible for making the difficult decisions.

But recently the Elk Foundation decided to support Senate Bill 236, which Montana’s department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks does not support.

On its face, the bill would add the right to hunt, fish and trap to Montana’s Constitution. But as the Missoulian said in its Sunday editorial, rather than benefiting hunters and anglers, this bill could have costly consequences to the state. Instead of clarifying and protecting hunting and fishing rights as intended, Senate Bill 236 “could confuse and erode them.”

So why isn’t the Elk Foundation standing alongside FWP and its concerns with the obstacles this bill creates for managing Montana’s wildlife? Why is RMEF taking the side of a special-interest group – trappers – whose method of killing animals runs counter to the well-respected hunting tenets of “fair chase” and the ethical taking of wildlife?

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Since its founding, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has held these basic principles in high esteem, but now you have to wonder if the organization is losing its way.

Jan Brocci,

Missoula

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